blue matte laminate coating on a box package

What Laminate Should I Use to Protect my Packaging?

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Your custom package is an investment. Protecting it is a priority. The best way to go about doing this is by applying a protective laminate coating on your package’s surface. 

Which lamination or coating should you choose to protect your package? 

Complete Packaging Solutions in Brookville, Indiana explains!

What is Lamination?

Lamination is the process of applying a thin coat of polypropylene (plastic film) to your printed material, enhancing the appearance and protecting the ink from smearing.

It’s also water-resistant and can really ensure your investment in custom packaging is maintained from the warehouse to the store shelves. 

What Kind of Coating or Laminate Should I Use? 

Coating specifications should be based on your product packaging’s design, cost, and material. 

Protective Benefits of Laminating Your Packages 

Lamination is just another tool in your arsenal to enhance your package and give your customer an amazing experience. 

Custom coating adds to a sense of professionalism and promotion, protects your package from the elements, and ensures durability with frequent use (hand-offs). 

Here are some of the core benefits: 

  • Easy to clean off smudges and fingerprints 
  • More durable than paper and can withstand repeated use 
  • Difficult to bend, tear, or fold
  • Translucent coating doesn’t obscure the package’s printed design
  • Waterproof, spill, and stain resistant 
  • Cost-effective and increases lifespan savings on reprinting

The most compelling benefit of laminate packaging is that it acts as a protective barrier between your print and the outside elements

The color and text on your package can get scratched or wet, which pretty much ruins your custom design by the time it gets to the shelves. Printing in between laminate layers keeps the package’s design safe

A Few More Facts on Laminating…

Laminating often takes place before reel sitting, after substrate printing, and after processing (on form-fill-seal machines).

Laminate coatings hold different materials together, often flexible packaging products that consist of films, aluminum foils, or papers. 


A PET/ALU/PE stand-up pouch might be turned into a PE/PE-EVOH/PE pouch to retain a protective barrier and serve as an eco-friendly alternative. 

Primary Functions of Laminate Packaging

  • Protective barrier 
  • Seals flexible packaging
  • Improves the strength of the material 
  • Protects it during, transit and storage

The Best Laminate or Coating Options for Your Package

Choose lamination over coating or varnish. Laminate finishes offer greater levels of scratch resistance. 

Aqueous Coatings or Laminates

UV AQ Semi Gloss Finishing: 

While being more cost-effective than other coating alternatives, gloss lamination or UV coating will create seeable ripples on the material’s surface. It’s an ideal choice for retail or cosmetic products. 

Matte Lamination: 

Recommended for high-end packaging products. Luxury boxes with custom embossing, foil stamping, and spot UV often utilize matte lamination for added protection. It also doesn’t produce a glare and more letter print can be added to it. 

High-Gloss Laminate: 

This laminate is highly reflective and grabs attention. It offers the same level of protection that matte lamination does, but can present a higher perceived quality to customers, given its apparent sheen and glare. 

Satin Lamination: 

It offers an appearance that’s a blend of gloss and matte but hosts the same level of scratch resistance.

Soft-Touch Aqueous Coating: 

Unlike the wet-bonded laminates, this coating creates a very velvety texture and has a mellow appearance, similar to what you might see with a glossy finish. 

Specialty Coating: 

Scented, glittered, reticulated or pearlized coating is great for those without budget constraints that want to deliver high-end packaging for long product runs. 

If you have a little extra money to throw at delivering a stand-out customer experience, go with specialty coatings. 

Polyester Laminate: 

Using the right level of heat, pressure, and adhesives, a strong polyester scrim is stuffed between layers of vinyl (PVC) or another polymer film to create a protective coating. 

Gloss Varnish (Little or No Coating)

Corrugated box material is thick enough to provide protection without additional coating (which is an additional cost). If your package is well designed, there may be no need for a coating whatsoever. It’s the best option for low to medium runs. 

Luxury Coatings

Typically used in rigid box packaging with the aim of being simplistic, sleek, minimalistic, and expensive looking. Among coating options, they are the least cost-effective choice. 

Order Custom Packaging From Complete Packaging Solutions

Our turnkey packaging process will get you the perfect packaging material and protective laminate that will stand out to your customer.

Contact us today for more information and a free quote on our custom packaging services: (765) 547-1300.